- Eliud Kipchoge’s foundation has partnered with Eldoret Grains Limited in the second wave of relief to reach 60 vulnerable athletes from Elgeiyo-Marakwet and Uasin Gishu counties.
Kipchoge started the initiative in earlier this month to aid runners from Iten and Kaptagat in and Eldoret. He has called on more stakeholders to help the athletes navigate through the month and continue with their personal training.
“My appeal is to get more corporates and private companies to come on board so that athletes may be able to get food because their lives are at a standstill due to the coronavirus which has affected everybody,” Kipchoge said.
So far, 20 upcoming athletes in Iten have benefited from the donation. Hillary Birgen, a beneficiary, was happy to share his portion with his training mates who are also struggling.
“I was fortunate to get a 5kg bag of flour and one packet of wheat flour. I had to share it with my training mates whose names didn’t appear on the list. We are really struggling but I’m grateful to the well-wishers who came up with the donation. The food will keep us going for some days,” Birgen said.
Ben Mutai, was grateful to Birgen for his generosity. He testifies that the situation is difficult at the moment
“I’m so happy because my friend called me immediately after the distribution and gave me one kilogram of flour. We have been training together, but currently, we are just indoors waiting for the virus to be contained,” Mutai said.
Vivian Kiplagat, who has been training at Kimumu in Eldoret said she was touched by the marathon legend’s initiative.
“We depend on races to earn money so that we can buy food and pay rent. But it has been a challenge because coronavirus disrupted our programmes,” said Kiplagat.
Athletes have always made Kenya proud and the Eldoret Grains human resource manager Jamal Awadh is happy to partner with Eliud Kipchoge to support them.
Abraham Mutai, the Central Rift Athletics Kenya Chairman, urged county governments and the national government to consider cushioning the upcoming athletes.
“Athletes depend on races to earn an income. There is a need to support them so that they can continue training ahead of next season,” Mutai said.